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سيوا… نسيها الخلق فسواها الخالق

سيوا… نسيها الخلق فسواها الخالق

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قد يكون اسم سيوا اسما يسمع لأول مرة للكثيرين ، كما واحة سيوا من اسمها تبدو وكأنها جزء من مكان اخترعه مؤلف الف ليلة وليلة .

وهذا ليس بغريب اذا ما عرفنا ان سيوا تقع على بعد ٨٣٠ كم من القاهرة ، وفي قلب الصحراء الغربية بالقرب من الحدود الليبية. يعيش بها ما يقارب ال٣٥ الف نسمة من الأمازيغيين. وقد يكون هذا اهم ما يميز سيوا قبل التكلم او التطرق عن الثروات الطبيعية التي حطها الخالق بإبداع في هذه الواحات .فسيوا غنية بالثروات الطبيعية، والآثار منذ الفراعنة ومرورا بالإسكندر الأعظم ووقوفا عمد محمد علي . تشتهر بنخيلها وزيتونها وبحيرات املاحها الطبيعية والبرك الكبريتية وتشتهر بموسم دفن الرمل للعلاج الطبيعي.

كثرت السياحة الى سيوا في السنوات الاخيرة ، وما من زائر ذهب الى هناك وعاد بانطباع سيء. تتحمل مشاق الطريق وعبئها مقابل كم الجمال الذي تستقبلك فيه تلك الواحة المنعزلة.

شعور بالطمأنينة يصاحبك مع اول لحظة تلتقي فيها سيوي. شعور غريب صعب وصفه ، خصوصا اذا ما كنت متذكرا انك في مصر. ففي مصر بشكل عام ، يشوه المستغلون للسياحة قيمة الكنوز المصرية في التاريخ والحضارة والآثار المترامية امام ناظر السائح. ولكن في سيوا تصدق بالفعل عندما يعرض عليك الرجل خدماته بلا مقابل ، وعندما تفاصل التاجر على سلعة وعندما يضيفك مضيفة في الفندق او المرشد او السائق المرافق.

طمأنينة حقيقية تبدو وكأنها مركبة في ارواح اهل هذه الواحة. اعترف انني كدت اصدق ان العلة تبدو في التركيبة العربية ، فهؤلاء بالرغم من اعتزازهم بهويتهم المصرية ولسان عروبتهم الا انهم ليسوا عربا ، ولا يزالوا يحتفظون بكل ما يبقي هوياتهم العراقية بدء من اللغة ووقوفا عند ثقافتهم وتراثهم . والطيبة جزء من موروثهم بكل تاكيد.

وان كانت الطيبة معدية ، فلا بد ان من يأتي الو هذا المكان يصاب بعدوى الطيب الو الأبد فيصبح سفير سيوا في كل مكان .

لا يمكن الا تستوقفك محاولات احياء الإرث والمحافظة على البيئة في سيرا فيتردد الى مسامعك اسم الدكتور منير في كل مكان تتوجه اليه. من الفندق الصغير الذي أقمنا به الذي تبين انه يملكه ، الى الفندق البيئي المسمى بجعفر ( نسبة الى سيدي جعفر المدفون على ذلك الجبل) على بعد ثلاثين كيلو مترا من بلدة شالي وباب انشال التراثية. اسم الفندق الرسمي أدرار املال اَي الجبل الأبيض .كعادتي توجست لفكرة رجل الأعمال والأب المخلص بين البسطاء ، ولكني كنت بانسجام مطلق مع كل ما يجري معي ، الفندق الصديق للبيئة الذي أقيم به والبساطة الرائعة في كل تفصيلة وبين كل أفراد من يعملون حتى في الشارع المقابل . رحلة السفاري في الصحراء التي يدهشك فيها السائق بقدر ما تدهشك الصحراء والأصداف وبقايا الأسماك في عمقها. عالم من الكون لا نفهم منه الا ذرات الرمل المتطاير أمامنا . سحر يملؤه سحر.

فندق جعفر او ادرار املال كان المحطة الاخيرة ، بدعوة على العشاء من صاحب الفندق الذي لم نره ولم نتعرف عليه. فندق صديق للبيئة ، ابداع لا يمكن الا تركيب الخيال فيه عند رؤيته في دمج عبقري رائع متجانس بموسيقى بين روعة الطبيعة وابداع تتملكه البساطة.

ما اصعب البساطة فكرت طوال الطريق . ابداع يجعل المرء يقترب من الكمال …. فقط عندما يتماهى مع ما خلق الله له من نعم ويحاول الحفاظ عليها.

وصلت الكهرباء الى سيوا منذ ٣٥ سنة فقط وكانت تأتي لعدة ساعات . كانت اقرب نقطة حياة لهم مرسى مطروح وكان الوصول أيها يحتاج سفر ثلاث ايّام ، فمنحهم انور السادات طيارة مرتين بالأسبوع بسعر تذكرة الاوتوبيس ١٧٥ قرش.

حتى بداية التسعينات اقتربت سيوا الى الاندثار ، فلا اهتمام ولا خدمات. وكأن زيارة الدكتور منير للمنطقة وهو بيئي ومهندس أبنية قديمة ، كانت النور الذي بعثه الخالق لينير هذه الواحات.فعمل من سيوا راحته الخاصة واستثمر بكل امكانياته لإعادة احيائها والحفاظ على تراثها .

تستقبل اليوم سيوا السياح بشكل لافت اكثر. سكانها لا يتذمرون ، نسبة البطالة لديهم صفر. مرتاحون ، يستمتعون بقدوم الزائر ويحتفون به. يتكلمون عن الحفاظ عن البيئة وينتجون ويصنعون ويحيون ما يستطيعونه من إمكانيات ارضهم ومتمسكون بإيمان وحب بتراثهم .

أهي الأمازيغية التي تستدعي هذا الاحترام ؟

لا اعرف … فمنير في هذه الحالة ليس امازيغيا. ولكن الجواب يكمن في الإخلاص وحب الارض والإيمان بنعم الطبيعة ، مع خلطة من الصدق والبساطة والأصالة …. تجعلك تتمنى لو عالمك اليومي يصبح سيوا…

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Waiting For ISIS To Die

The barbarous group known as ISIS is cornered in a small village in Eastern Syria…..they are being pounded by the Kurds and the SDF and yet they hang on to life and fight back viciously….

As we sit and wait for ISIS to die there are a few thoughts that we need to consider…..

The U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) launched an operation March 1 backed by U.S. artillery and air support in an effort to defeat the remnant core fighters of the Islamic State in the last sliver of the militant group’s self-declared “caliphate,” the term it used to describe the territory in Syria and Iraq it conquered and governed under its austere interpretation of Sharia. With the destruction of the so-called caliphate imminent, many have begun to wonder if the jihadist group could ever recover. But this is the wrong question. Instead of asking whether the Islamic State core can recover as many — including Stratfor — did when the group was on the ropes in Iraq in 2010, the proper question is whether the Islamic State core will be permitted to recover again. The difference between these two questions is subtle, but vitally important

 
The West has fought this extremism but is it possible we may have gotten somethings wrong?
 
The ‘clash of civilizations’ thesis has become fashionably outdated but still shapes the way we understand the connection between Islam, terrorism and the Middle East.  In 2019, it is time to ‘forget the Middle East’ and change the way we perceive Islam.  Vera Mironova, in ‘The New Face of Terrorism’, claims that the way Westerners think about ‘Islamist terrorism has grown dangerously outdated’, and the terrorist attacks at Western targets have been increasingly coming from militants of the former Soviet Union, not the Middle East. Following on these insights, I argue that it is time not only to ‘forget the Middle East’ but also stop essentializing Islam in the Middle East.
 
 
They, ISIS, may be suffering staggering losses in Syria and could possibly be defeated (not destroyed) but they will raise their ugly head once again in Southeast Asia….
 

Across the islands of the southern Philippines, the black flag of the Islamic State is flying over what the group considers its East Asia province.

Men in the jungle, two oceans away from the arid birthplace of the Islamic State, are taking the terrorist brand name into new battles.

As worshipers gathered in January for Sunday Mass at a Catholic cathedral, two bombs ripped through the church compound, killing 23 people. The Islamic State claimed a pair of its suicide bombers had caused the carnage.

The lesson we should learn is one that is being overlooked with all the glad handing for victory…..we cannot defeat an idea and ISIS will rise again to continue their push for extremism…..

It’s Official, This Is the Oldest Known Astrolabe in the World

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In 1503, on the way back from a violent escapade in India, part of Vasco da Gama’s 4th Portuguese India Armada went down in a storm off the coast of what is now Oman. The wreck was discovered more than 20 years ago, but is now being newly recognized for its exceptional assets. Guinness World Records, ever the archaeological authority, has now confirmed that the wreck’s astrolabe and bell—retrieved in 2013 and 2014—are the oldest known examples of either nautical device, after research published yesterday in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology explained the science behind the analysis.

Though astrolabes are known from written sources to date to the 6th century—predating da Gama’s Armada by roughly a millenium—few have ultimately survived. “It’s a dream” to recover an astrolabe, especially the oldest ever found, says David L. Mearns, one of the study’s authors and the project director for the wreck’s recovery. The rare artifacts went out of production in the 18th century, he says, and those that were not lost to shipwrecks were likely melted down and repurposed.

Astrolabes are used to measure the altitude of an object with respect to the horizon. With a chart of bright stars, it can be used to calculate latitude, or it can be used to measure the height of a mountain. This oldest astrolabe was likely made between 1496 and 1501. The portion recovered from the wreck measures less than seven inches in diameter and weighs less than one pound, and carries Portugal’s royal coat of arms. In a press release, the researchers explained that the object dates to a transitional moment in the tool’s history, and that it combines aspects of the older “planispheric” astrolabes with features of the “open-wheel” astrolabes that were not yet in use.

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Astrolabes are neat, but you’d be hard-pressed to find one on a boat today. Bells, such as the example found on the da Gama ship, on the other hand, are still common nautical equipment—though mostly decorative today, says Mearns. They’re neither technical marvels nor rare, but bells have also played important roles on ships since the late 15th century, according to the U.S. Navy. That makes this one, cast in 1498, particularly significant.

Their primary historical function has been to help sailors on watch duty keep time. Within every four-hour shift, for example, the bell would be rung every 30 minutes to indicate how many half-hours had elapsed. (At the end of a shift, in other words, a bell would be rung eight times.) The Brits, however, had to introduce a seemingly convoluted twist to this exercise after the 1797 Nore Mutiny. The ringing of five bells at 6:30 p.m. had been the sailors’ signal to begin the mutiny, so from then on, British ships rang their bells just once at that point in the watch.

Bells also played vital safety roles, as fire and fog alarms, for instance. And they could lead to trouble: In July 1779, during the American Revolution, an American unit was caught in a Newfoundland fog and overheard enemy bells. Once the fog lifted, the prepared Americans proceeded to capture 10 British ships worth more than a million dollars. Both bells and astrolabes had their limitations, even when they were state-of-the-art.

Abstinence Activist and HHS Official Valerie Huber is Now Pushing Her Message on a Global Stage

Self-delusion when combined with official power is a very dangerous thing. ui39fxgx0buqvzmdq5i3.png

The United Nations Commission on the Status of Women—described as the world’s “single largest gathering dedicated to women’s rights”—is meeting this week to draft its annual document, and the delegates from the U.S. are already royally fucking things up, continuing the Trump administration’s work of attacking…

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Gaza… a nation revolting starvation

This time in Gaza was different when observing people’s louder voice of expressing the deterioration of their lives. From one side you cannot but see the heartfelt scenes of poverty , of humanity being taken to its edge , and from another side you see buildings,hotels, pochi restaurants and cafes, new cars, youth dressed with Nike and Adidas.

One of the most compelling comments I heard was from a taxi driver who expressed his concern and others rage on the building of another mosque . We don’t need more mosques .img_4428.png?resize=672%2C1455&ssl=1 I keep stressing on all the time as a Moslem who sees expensive built mosques where no cultural centers or services provided in paces where people lack the basics. As a secular person-maybe- I thought I am just another bad moslem when I complain .but hearing this is Gaza for me was beyond my expectations.

It came with no surprise that people are taking the streets in distress asking for better life.

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An Amazing Butterfly Irruption Is Swarming Across California

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Currently, skies in Southern California look like a scene out of Hitchcock—a little less moody, maybe, and a bit more ethereal. From Burbank to Redondo Beach to South Central Los Angeles and beyond, swarms of butterflies have been flitting throughout the air in a fever dream of irruption and migration. And with the overall numbers of these tiny, two-to-three-inch butterflies, known as painted ladies (Vanessa cardui), appearing to be down in the region (from around 300,000 in 2017 to 25,000 last year, according to one monitoring program), this magical burst of lepidopterans brings both wonder and hope.

The painted lady fluorescence is the result of an unusually rainy winter in California—and in the deserts in particular, which also helped spur this spring’s wildflower superbloom. In a statement, James Danoff-Burg, conservation director of the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, said “the average annual rainfall in the Coachella Valley is three inches. This year, we had three and a half inches on Valentine’s Day alone.” Art Shapiro, an ecologist at University of California, Davis, who’s been studying butterfly migration since 1972, told CNN that “Painted ladies tend to thrive when there’s a superbloom because there are so many plants for the butterflies to lay their eggs on and for caterpillars to eat.” While these butterflies migrate from Mexico every year, through Southern California’s deserts, to the Pacific Northwest, they usually go relatively undetected because there aren’t quite so many of them.

This year’s phenomenon is referred to as an irruption. “The difference is that a migration is a seasonal occurrence,” says Matthew Shepherd of the Xerces Society, an invertebrate conservation nonprofit based in Portland, Oregon. “An irruption is a sudden and massive surge in population size that doesn’t happen each year. Essentially, there is a super-abundance of something that leads to a population that is so large that the pressure just keeps pushing the butterflies on the edges further and further is search of flowers.”

Another reason the critters are making their way up the coast from Mexico, where they winter in the Sonoran Desert, is because of this crowding. “The pressure of having so many butterflies in one area is forcing them outward,” says Shepherd. “The mass of host plants that the caterpillars eat is as important to this as the availability of nectar to fuel the adults. The butterflies are not so much leaving something behind, but moving in search of plants and areas that aren’t saturated with other painted ladies!”

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The small insects flitting through California’s vistas are cousins of the larger and more vibrant monarch, which faced critically low population numbers (down 85 percent) in California last year. Both butterflies are similar in color—orange and black with whispers of white—and are essential pollinators of the state’s plants. Tom Merriman, director of the Encinitas-based butterfly nonprofit Butterfly Farms, says that butterflies “can get into flowers bees can’t get to,” and that “monarchs are considered an indicator species that help us judge the condition of our environment.”

According to Merriman, the last time Southern California an event like this was in 2005, an El Niño year. (Then, I-5 was closed in Southern California due to the quantity of dead butterflies on the road surface, Shepherd says.) That wet year, there were estimated to be more than a billion painted ladies. Based on the butterflies that flew through Encinitas just yesterday, Merriman ventures that the region is seeing just as many. “They’re moving pretty quickly and can travel nearly 30 miles per hour and can cover up to 100 miles a day,” Merriman says. Occasionally, the ladies stop to sip nectar from flowers, and then continue their haste.

“Think cars traveling on the freeway, they’re all going the same direction but not really together,” Merriman says. “We think it’s going to go on for a few more weeks. They’re not going to be as dense—some will run out of energy and stop to feed and breed, some will run into predators, or worse, automobiles.”

The painted ladies are expected to stay, wherever they settle down, throughout the summer. Shepherd’s guess is that they’ll arrive in Oregon sometime in April. They’ll make offspring, and the ones flying north now will almost certainly be grandparents by July. For most of them, the Pacific Northwest will be the end of the road. “Painted ladies mostly die where they are at the end of the season,” Shepherd says, because their average life expectancy is two to four weeks. Then their descendants will travel back to Mexico in the fall.